Manna in the dessert…. an intriguing action of God for the people of Israel. God fed his people in the dessert everyday with manna in the morning and quail in the evening. It sounds normal, but it wasn’t…. it was extraordinary…supernatural…a miracle. If you happened to get up early and looked out on the fields, there was nothing…..yet a bit later and there it was. What was manna like? Well,
- it was described as bread from heaven… the bread of angels (Ps.78:23)
- enough was provided for one day. (Ex. 16:4) ….it lasted only one day and then spoiled…so you couldn’t store it up. (one exception)
- in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp…..when the dew was gone, thin flakes like frost on the ground appeared on the desert floor
- it was made into cakes, boiled, and ground it into flour.(Num. 11:8)
- it tasted like wafers that had been made with honey…
- P.S. there was meat also…. in the evening quail came and covered the camp…
God fed the Israelites for 40 years in the dessert with manna and quail. Each morning it was there. Then one day it stopped. As Joshua led the people into the Promised Land, it stopped. “And on the morrow after the Passover, on that very day, they ate of the produce of the land, unleavened cakes and parched grain.And the manna ceased on the morrow, when they ate of the produce of the land; and the people of Israel had manna no more, but ate of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year.”(Joshua 5:11-12)
One day God gave them something better than manna; he gave them the Promised Land, a land flowing with milk and honey. What a story. God providing for his people as a loving father. Talk about a new normal. It reminds me of a mother bird providing food for her young chicks, but one day she stops and they must provide for themselves…. a good thing, a sign of maturity.
Israel was growing up. They had suffered for 40 years… and now a new generation led by Joshua was ready to receive the promise. No more eating manna from the hand of God, now they would provide for themselves under the direction and provision of their God.
Is there a message for us in this phenomena …. this new normal for the People of Israel ? I think there is …… things change…. life changes. The normal life we grow accustom to gives way to a new normal. We need to adjust and embrace the new normal. In God’s ways, the new normal will be better …it’s always better in God’s plan for us.
So for us whether you’re moving from high school to college, or from college to marriage, or from having young children to having young adults, or to having grandchildren, or to health issues, or to old age, or to losing a spouse, or to eternal life ….. God’s intention for us is good. The new normal may be difficult and even extremely difficult but God’s plan for us is good, very good. The manna was good, but the land flowing with milk and honey will be better. We’re moving into the Promised Land… and that is very good news.